Front-month Brent/Dubai exchange of futures for swaps narrowed at the Asia opening on Feb. 9 as Indian crude demand was once again in focus following the issuance of another purchase tender.
The April Exchange of Futures for Swap was valued at $1.22/b at 11 am (0300 GMT) in Singapore on Feb. 9, up 6 cents/b from the Asian close on Feb. 8, S&P Global Platts data showed.
The Brent/Dubai EFS is a key indicator of the spread between light, sweet and heavy, sour crudes, and a wide EFS makes crude priced against Dubai more economically attractive for Asian refiners compared to Brent-linked ones.
Indian refiner, Indian Oil Corp., issued another tender for purchase of March and April loading crude from various regions including Middle East. The tender closes Feb. 10 with validity till Feb. 11.
“That’s some healthy buying appetite that India has and their tender lists a variety of crude,” said a trader with a South Asian refiner.
In the week ended Feb. 6, the refiner had issued another tender and purchased one-million barrels each of April-loading Abu Dhabi’s Das Blend, Murban and Upper Zakum crude.
Post issuance of official selling prices by Middle East’s largest producers, Saudi Aramco and ADNOC, some market participants expect the IOC tender to be a key indicator of demand from Asia.
“The IOC tender will be a litmus test to prove which are the most economical grades. Lets see if they buy Middle East crude again,” said a trader in Singapore.
At mid-morning in Singapore (0300 GMT), the April/May Dubai time spread was valued at 52 cents/b, unchanged from the previous day, Platts data showed.
The May/June Dubai intermonth spread was pegged at 51 cents/b, down a cent/b from the Asia close Feb. 8, the data showed.